Hi Mr Man.Mr Man wrote:Hi Sweet_Nothing what do you mean by "pure teaching"? Do you mean the teaching as presented in the sutta or are you referring to the system of meditation as taught by Goenka.
By "Pure Teaching", I mean that the essence of Shakyamuni Buddha's discovery (Dhamma) has been preserved without any dilution.
In Buddhas lifetime, he spoke to many beings using many different words, depending on the listener. All of them benefited in the same direction, ie. towards complete awakening but not all of them reached there in Buddha's lifetime. He mostly spoke about things that were necessary for the listener to attain enlightenment, and refused to dwell into subjects that were of no consequence or only served as a topic for intellectual entertainment.
However, he did go into intellectual depths unless there were doubts that could not be solved otherwise.
Sometimes, beings were not ready to comprehend the 4 noble truths - so he had to form mundane parables and convey the noble truths in ways that the audience will eventually come to see the 4 noble truths.
If you meet a friend who knows nothing about the Buddhas teaching - and then you tell him that Jesus was not god (or son of), and you directly enter into a discussion about Dependant Origination, rebirth, etc - they are unlikely to benefit from it and might even be steered away. If you tell him, Jesus was a cool guy who had very good values that we should emulate, and these values (brahma viharas) are also in sync with what Buddha taught - then he is more likely to be receptive.
This is about the theoretical, or intellectual aspect. What the discourses say are tailored for specific audiences in mind, and the content changes with more advanced courses. The Satipathana course is based word to word on the Satipathana Sutta, and there is a detailed expounding of the entire Sutta during the course.
Goenkaji focuses much more on the practical aspects, rather than the philosophical or metaphysical aspects.With development in meditation, the latter automatically becomes clear.
As for the Meditation technique : I cannot claim it to be 100% what the Buddha taught. However, I claim that there is no disagreement between what the Buddha must have taught and what is taught in the Goenka courses. There is some improvisation which is later discarded. It's like, how while riding a cycle for the first time - you may use training wheels or have someone support you/push you or use training wheels so that you dont fall - or while learning how to swim you use floats - Goenkaji makes use of systematic scanning. Other than the instructions to observe in a "systematic manner", I dont think there is any difference in what is taught in Maha Satipathana Sutta and what is practiced.
There is often criticism that the emphasis on Vedana, or Sensations is too strong. There is a very good explanation why it is so, which is given at length in the Satipathana course. This does not mean that the other 3 aspects are negated. They are also observed, but the greater emphasis is on sensations and feelings because they are the closest link, where the chain of dependent origination can be severed.